Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

December 11, 2014

Resilience by Design

On Monday the Mayor of Los Angeles released a report entitled Resilience by Design.  It gives particular attention to how Los Angeles can take steps now to mitigate the consequences of major risks, especially an earthquake.

This is the kind of document that — too often — only appears after a major event.  It is significant that one of the first steps Mayor Garcetti took upon his election was appointment of a Science Advisor for Seismic Safety and tasking her to undertake this analysis.

The report gives particular attention to:

  • Resilience of building stock — It is interesting that this is treated as a matter of economic resilience as well as public safety.
  • Resilience of the water system — This is what worries me most regarding the vulnerability of the Los Angeles basin.
  • Resilience of the telecommunications systems — This is a key interdependency that can divide or multiply every other response and recovery capability.

There are, obviously, other crucial problems.  But too many of these kind of studies try to take-on too much.  If everything is a priority, really nothing is a priority.

These are three strategic elements within the ability of city government to seriously engage.  Enhancing the resilience of these three elements will improve the ability of the city and the whole community to address other challenges.

See the full report here.

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7 Comments »

Pingback by Resilience by Design | Recovery Diva

December 11, 2014 @ 6:00 am

[…] the posting titled Resiliency by Design, which discusses the plans being made by the City of Los Angeles regarding future earthquakes.(Full […]

Comment by William R. Cumming

December 11, 2014 @ 7:52 am

Not sure if ENERGY GRID resilience discussed but should be done! Probably too late for L.A. and its lifelines but one can only hope!

Comment by Philip J. Palin

December 11, 2014 @ 9:10 am

Bill: This report assumes grid failure. This is, I suggest, a constructive assumption. Clearly we need to do whatever we can to enhance grid resilience. I agree with you. But there are stress-events that will take down any grid similar to our current system. What do we do then? This report starts to line-up some answers and approach to more answers.

Comment by Quin

December 11, 2014 @ 10:49 am

Just reading it now, but love the emphasis on the water system. For a catastrophe in a major urban area, I more and more see the response and recovery as a function of reestablishing water (and power). If you can, everything else will follow. If you can’t, you’re talking about having to evacuate a huge number of people until they can be reestablished. Those would be the first two numbers I’d want to see every morning if this ever happened.

Comment by William R. Cumming

December 11, 2014 @ 4:53 pm

The main lifelines to LA run through a pass largely carved by the Southern Pacific Railroad and its Chinese workers. Thanks China!

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